The pendulum has swung from a time when people didn’t feel as though they had gone to church unless they had their toes stepped on to a time when to step on people’s toes might mean that they will switch churches. The most popular preacher of our day is a man [Joel Osteen] who knows little theology, is not trained in the Scriptures, does not preach the gospel and ignores large portions of biblical truth. Instead he smiles constantly, tickles his listeners’ ears by telling them God wants them to have a wonderful and prosperous life and shuns any comment on sin or judgment. Yet every weekend over 40,000 people flock to his services and millions tune in via television. This pastor is merely reflective of our times - and he is successful. Preach a biblical message if you like, but if you want a successful ministry (in other words, crowds) you had better give the people what they want.
But what about God’s warning of false teachers and his mandate to contend for the faith? The trendy pastor rides the waves of current fads and philosophy, but the faithful pastor anchors his ministry in the timeless truth of God’s revelation. If our Lord has taken the trouble to warn us that wolves in the form of heretical teachers will attempt to ravish the sheep, we need to take him seriously and keep a constant watch for predators. If God has instructed us to contend earnestly for the faith, we had better strap on our armour and prepare for battle. If we love the people with whom the Lord has entrusted us, we will want to protect them from the danger of wandering from the truth.
Gary E. Gilley, This Little Church Had None